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Fighting the burden of mental disorders
Date:9/12/2009

Istanbul (Turkey), 12󈝼 September 2009 Mental disorders are a global problem and represent one of the biggest challenges for health care systems. In the world, there are some 500 million people suffering from mental disorders, and in the European Union, mental disorders range as one of the leading causes of disease burden. What makes the situation worse is that the prevalence of mental and neurological disorders is expected to grow for a variety of reasons: an ageing population will lead to an increased risk for age-related mental illness and neurological disorders, especially dementia and Parkinsons disease. By 2040, Alzheimers disease will double in Western and triple in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, with increasing economic troubles, work-related psychosocial risk factors such as reduced job security, work intensification, and a poor work-life balance become more widespread, affecting both men and women.

Due to work-related stress and mental health problems, levels of absenteeism, unemployment and long-term disability claims are increasing. In many EU Member States they are the leading cause of sickness absence from work and permanent withdrawal from the labour market. Poor mental health can account for more than 40% of all long-term disability claims. Premature retirement on the grounds of poor mental health is also increasing. In the EU, work-related costs due to mental health problems are more than 2.5 times greater than those associated with cardiovascular disease: The total costs of absenteeism and premature retirement due to mental health disorders in the EU-25 (plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) were 136.3 billion in 2007, including 99.3 billion for depression and anxiety-related disorders.

Furthermore, mental disorders are common in older people and represent a barrier for active ageing. In the EU, 10󈝻% of those over 65 suffer from depression, and over 5 million people have dementia (about 1.1𔂿.3% of the pop
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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
431-405-5734
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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